A mind-blowingly sensual Spanish red

2015 La Dama This sensational Spanish red possesses elemental power and uncommon grace, says Matthew Jukes.


2015 La Dama, Domaines Lupier, Navarra, Spain£156 for a case of six bottles, under bond, Berry Bros. & Rudd, 0800-280 2440, BBR.com

Due to land in the UK this side of Christmas, the new release of La Dama is utterly sensational. I gave it one of the highest-ever scores for a red Spanish wine when I tasted it and its 2014 vintage brother (£34.95, BBR.com) side by side the other day and they both looked sublime.

Owner Elisa car poured her wines wearing the widest grin imaginable. She knows just how good they are, but they are so precise and so esoteric that I imagine the general public might find it easier and less challenging to plump for Rioja or Ribera del Duero than the gems found in the Domaines Lupier cellar.

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Made from dramatic, mountainside plots of garnacha, La Dama possesses elemental power and uncommon grace. I noted down the words "sonorous, pure, actively juicy, deeply mineral and epic balance" in my notes as I dived into these wines. My mind was reeling with intense pleasure and this mood stayed with me through hundreds of other dreary wines that day.

Elisa and her agronomist partner Enrique Basarte have rescued 27 small parcels of high-altitude garnacha, some of which date back to 1903. They think these old vines show the "savage" side of this incredible grape and they are exactly right. The wildness and authenticity of these wines is astounding. I recommend you grab a bottle of 2014 to check we are on the same page and then order as much 2015 as you can afford. It is a mind-blowingly sensual wine.

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year (MatthewJukes.com).

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website, www.matthewjukes.com.

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.